Big Ten Betting Preview: #4 Michigan Wolverines at #8 Michigan State Spartans

#4 Michigan Wolverines at #8 Michigan State Spartans
Tuesday, February 12, 2013, 9:00 Eastern, TV: ESPN

Jack Breslin Student Events Center – East Lansing, Michigan
Opening Line: Michigan St pick
Current Line: Michigan -1 1/2
Opening Total: 133
Current Total: 131
Opening Money Line: Michigan -125 / Michigan St +105
Current Money Line: Michigan -125 / Michigan St +105

Michigan St hosts rival Michigan Tuesday night with first place in the Big Ten on the line.

Michigan St hosts rival Michigan Tuesday night with first place in the Big Ten on the line.

The Big Ten race will come down to five teams currently separated by 2 games in the standings. Indiana and Michigan St are both 9-2, while Michigan and Wisconsin are 8-3. Ohio St is 7-4 and also in the race. Every other team in the conference is a least 4 games back.  The #4 Michigan Wolverines who are 21-3 overall make the 65 mile trip to East Lansing to take on the 20-4 Michigan St Spartans.

Michigan leads the series 94-75, but the Spartans are 46-36 at home. Michigan has won 3 of the last 4 in the series, but Michigan St won the last meeting last season in East Lansing. The Spartans have won 19 of the last 25 overall, and 12 of 13 at home in the series. This is the first meeting between the schools when both are ranked in the AP top 10. They will play again March 2 in Ann Arbor.

Michigan is coached by John Beilein. After a 20-1 start, Michigan has lost two of their last three games at Indiana and Wisconsin 65-62 in overtime Saturday. The Wolverines also have a loss at Ohio St. This is the fourth game in row for Michigan against the conference leaders. Michigan has key home wins over Cleveland State, North Carolina State, Arkansas, Western, Central, and Eastern Michigan, Iowa, Nebraska, Purdue, Northwestern, and Ohio St. The Wolverins also have wins over Pittsburgh and Kansas St in a tournament in New York City, West Virginia in Brooklyn, and at Bradley, Northwestern, Minnesota, and Illinois. Michigan is 12-9-1 ATS this season and total is 14-8 this season.

Michigan is outscoring teams 77-60 this season. The Wolverines are #20 in scoring and #44 in points allowed. Michigan is shooting 49.8% from the field and 40.7% from 3 point range. The Wolverines are in the top 10 nationally in both categories. Michigan makes 70.3% from the free throw line. Michigan averages 36.3 rebounds per game and gives up 28 per game. Michigan opponents are shooting 41.3% from the field and 32% from 3 point range. The Wolverines are averaging 15 assists, 6 steals, 3 blocks and 9 turnovers.

Michigan guards Trey Burke averages 18.2 points, 7.1 assists, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.4 steals per game. Guard Tim Hardaway, Jr. averages 16 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.4 assists. Guard Nik Stauskas averages 12.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.4 assists. Forward Glenn Robinson III averages 11.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. Forward Mitch McGary averages 6.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1 steal and 0.7 blocks a game to lead the team. Forward Jordan Morgan averages 5.8 points and 4.8 rebounds. He is questionable with an ankle injury. Caris LaVert and Jon Horford also get significant minutes.

Michigan St is coached by Tom Izzo. The Spartans have losses to Connecticut in Germany, at Miami-(FL), at Minnesota, and Indiana. The Spartans have won 3 straight games.   They have key wins over Kansas in Atlanta, Boise St, Oakland, at Bowling Green, Texas, Purdue twice including 78-65 Saturday at Purdue, Nebraska, Ohio St, Illinois, Minnesota, and road wins in conference at Iowa, Penn St, and Wisconsin. The Spartans are 9-11-1 ATS and the total is 10-10 this season.

Michigan St is outscoring teams 70-59 this season. The Spartans are #31 in scoring nationally. Michigan St is shooting 46.8% from the field and 35.7% from 3 point range. The Spartans are #35 in field goal percentage. Michigan St makes 71.4% of their free throws. Michigan St averages 37.4 rebounds per game and gives up 27.9 per game. Spartan opponents are shooting 39% from the field and 31.3% from 3 point range. Michigan St averages 14 assists, 9 steals, 4 blocks, and 14 turnovers per game.

Guard Keith Appling averages 14.1 points, 4.1 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game. Guard Gary Harris averages 12.7 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Forward Branden Dawson averages 10.9 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.8 steals, and  1 block per game. Forward Adreian Payne averages 9.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. Forward Derrick Nix averages 9.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Guard Travis Trice averages 5.5 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. He is doubtful with a concussion. Forward Kenny Kaminksi is out for the season with a  shoulder injury.

Michigan is 5-2 ATS in Tuesday games, 19-9-1 in road games, 29-14-1 in Big Ten games, and 37-18 after failing to cover. The under is 6-1 in the last 7, and 4-1 in the last 5 in East Lansing in this series.

Michigan St is 4-0-1 ATS after a straight up win, 4-1-1 against teams with winning records, overall, and in Big Ten games, and 16-33-2 in Tuesday games. The home team is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 games in this series.

Although Michigan is one the best offensive teams in the country, and Michigan St scores around 70 points a game, this should be a low scoring game. Both teams only give up around 60 points a game. I could see this being played in the 50′s. I think Michigan St pulls off the mild upset at home to stay in first in the Big Ten.

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